After a search spanning her entire office...
Bush has nominated Harriet Miers to replace O'Connor, announced this morning about 8 o'clock. For those whose immediate response is "who?" here's a profile in the Washington Post and the NYT has republished this profile from last year.
I remember reading this story last week touching on the possibility of a Miers nomination, particularly since she was heading the White House search for a nominee, and similar speculation on Ann Althouse's blog. Googling her at that time, I found this link announcing her receipt of the "2005 Sandra Day O'Connor Award for Professional Excellence." Certainly, that should have been a sign.
As for the nomination, SCOTUSblog's Tom Goldstein has gone on record predicting that the Senate will reject Miers. Meanwhile, over at ConfirmThem (who may change their name to ConfirmSomeOfThem) enthusiasm is muted to say the least. Others are trying to be optimistic.
On several diversity dimensions, Miers is exactly what some people were suggesting Bush should pick. She's a woman, didn't get her JD from an elite law school, has held elective office and been a high-level executive official, as recommended by Akiba Covitz and Mark Tushnet in the New Republic recently. On the other hand, I doubt many people think that what the Supreme Court needs more of is people who used to be private counsel for the sitting president. While some people have lamented the civil service turn the Supreme Court has taken, where almost all its members serve time in the federal appellate judiciary before elevation, at least people with that experience have been acclimated to the independent judiciary. Bush appears to be favoring the servile, career advocates for himself and his father.
Since Miers is a bit off the radar in terms of ideology--much like Roberts she can attribute most of her career to the representation of others' interests--you might think that Bush's nomination of her demonstrates his political weakness. Were he in a stronger position, so this argument goes, he would nominate a well-known conservative obviously in the mold of Scalia and Thomas, as he promised in his first presidential campaign. To the contrary, it appears to me that Bush is again doing exactly what he wants: rewarding personal loyalty and taking advantage of private information. Miers' views on the law and controversial issues may not be well-known to others, but I figure he thinks he has a good idea of what they are.
Sure, presidents have been wrong before about presidential nominees, but they've been right about some as well. The question is, what does President Bush really want from his judicial nominees?